Students beat dog days of finals week with a little help from furry friends

Wright State student Brittany Clark with black lab Govinda. Clark is president of the student organization 4 Paws Wright State. Clark fosters and trains pups for 4 Paws for Ability.

As Wright State’s fall semester draws to a close, only one thing separates students from their holiday break: the dreaded finals week. For many, the next few days will be spent frantically studying and memorizing notes for upcoming exams.

Needless to say, stress levels are at an all-time high.

On Monday, Dec. 9, Wright State’s Dunbar Library hosted Fuzz Therapy, the biannual event that gives students some puppy love amid their stress. Students were encouraged to unwind and relax from the dog days of finals week to snuggle a litter of puppies in the library’s atrium.

At left, McKenna Werfle, secretary of the student organization 4 Paws Wright State chats with Victoria Penno, who works in the Dunbar Library Archives. The lab-golden retriever mixed puppy between them is Cooper, who is being trained by for 4 Paws for Ability.

The event was sponsored by 4 Paws for Ability, a non profit organization that enriches the lives of children with disabilities by training and placing quality, task-trained service dogs. Fuzz Therapy brings in future service dogs to acclimate them to new situations and being handled by big groups of people.

“Fuzz Therapy not only helps students relax during finals week, but it’s also good for the dogs because they’re in their socialization phase—so it’s mutually beneficial,” said Maureen Barry, First Year Experience Librarian.

“This is the point where they need to have a lot of contact with humans and experience different places and situations,” said Barry. “The dogs are pretty young, so events like this can greatly help them in the future.”

For the past few years, 4 Paws for Ability has teamed up with local universities to create on-campus fostering programs for future service dogs.

Cooper up close and personal.

The non profit has had a working relationship with Wright State for the last two years. Students foster the 4 Paws service dog puppies for a semester, bringing them everywhere the student goes, from classrooms to the mall.

At the end of their training, the dogs are sent to work with children and veterans with disabilities.


4 Paws for Ability makes canine companions available to any child with a disability who wishes to have the love, companionship and independence that are the result of service dog placement.

To learn more about 4 Paws for Ability and its services and volunteer options, visit

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